.

Final Fantasy

Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi

Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, Motonori Sakakibara
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
July 6, 2001

Are human actors really necessary? Couldn't computers do the job better? Don't rag on me. These are serious questions. So far this summer, acting is nearly nonexistent. You saw The Fast and the Furious. In retaliation comes Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, a sci-fi flick (loosely based on the PlayStation game series) that replaces humans with computer-generated images (CGIs). Eyeball that babe in the photo on this page — she's not real, she's virtual. Director Hironobu Sakaguchi, who created the games, uses actors only for their voices. So when you see the curvaceous Dr. Aki Ross (voiced by Ming-Na) trying to save our decimated planet from invading phantoms, you're seeing the handiwork of a computer, not of Mother Nature. Ever since Sony Pictures previewed Final Fantasy, online critics have been predicting doom. But the film exerts a hold. The crux is: for how long? At first it's fun to watch the characters, including a hero (Alec Baldwin), a villain (James Woods) and a feisty doctor (Donald Sutherland), hopping around inside a dome that encloses what's left of Manhattan. But then you notice a coldness in the eyes, a mechanical quality in the movements. Familiar voices emerging from the mouths of replicants erect a distance. The dark backgrounds leave you with the deadening feeling you get after too many hours of playing cybergames. You miss something. It could be the joystick, the interaction. More likely, it's the human touch from those pesky actors.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com